For 6 months, I committed myself to posting bi-weekly on My Sassy Starfish. I decided it was do or die with my dream of sharing my content with the world. It took great perseverance to carve out time in my work schedule, but I made it happen. Then Covid struck. My library sent me to work from home, and I continued to teach online early in the morning. I found myself with more time than I have had in almost 2 years! My last motivation took a nose dive simultaneously.
This is when I began lying to myself believing I would take care of how projects and get ahead on this whole blogging thing. Maybe even launch a few more ideas I had. Well, that all proved to be lies I told myself. I found anxiety, lack of motivation, and a general malaise for over 2 months until I was able to return to my daytime job.
I know what I was experiencing was not uncommon. All my friends and family mentioned feeling some form of depression and lack of motivation. Month’s later, I am just now finding some desire to create and hustle again. Here are some ways that I dug myself out of this rut and began looking forward again.
Start With Small Victories
Good habits are not built in a day, but the first step can being right away! I found myself happier and more motivated when I completed one simple task I set to do. For example, clearing off a cart in my office that had papers to be filed sitting in piles. Taking time to write in my journal, even if it was just one entry. Cooking something different or trying to make my own bubble tea.
So think of something in the morning that will make you feel happier or more in control. Then just focus on that one thing until it is complete. It helped me feel encouraged and plan other small goals.
Recreate a Familiar Routine or Ritual
The ultimate indicator of how productive we can be is found in our daily routines and rituals. Rituals are things you do that make you feel calm and at home. For example, making a pour over cup of coffee and completing a devotional. A routine is something with do with barely thinking about it like your night time skin care regime with creams and rash wash. My routines were the first thing to go without my normal strict 50+ hour a week work schedule.
This caused me to be useless and watch a lot of television when I wasn’t teaching or working on my day job responsibilities. Also the blog quickly suffered and so did my personal hygiene. After about 2 months of this, I began returning to my department after my approval and reconstructing some of my routines. I began with my post teaching routine of making breakfast and fixing my lunch. Then I was able to begin walking my normal time of later evening instead of randomly throughout the day. When this happened, I began to be more productive at home even though I was spending less time there.
So pick something that makes you feel useful whether it is getting dressed, doing your nails, or whatever else in order to recreate some normalcy.
Re-Evaluate How Your Meeting Basic Needs
Even though your home, consider your daily habits that effect your health. I found myself anxious and having itchy skin that was driving me nuts. This was surprising since I was at home not dealing with stressful situations. But the uncertainty was driving me crazy. So I began focusing on my gut health with probiotics, fermented foods, and clean eating. This helped along with long baths with epsom salt to unwind.
Think about things you have been doing since the pandemic. Are you drinking too many sodas instead of water? Eating too many unhealthy snacks? Watching too much television? If you think of some unhealthy habits, focus on breaking them! Then you can think clearer and feel better in order to make a crack at your goals.
Read or Listen to Something Motivational
The best thing that I did to get myself situated was reading the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. This book is about the science and studies focused on creating good habits and breaking bad ones. It is a quick read and there are plenty of audio summaries available as well. While reading this, I began formulating ways that I can become the builder of my own habits.
If you can’t get a copy just yet due to whatever reason. (I had to wait a few months on the hold list for my public library.) There are plenty of podcasts like Rise and others that have been discussing this topic. You can also go to YouTube for some positive encouragement as well. I have also found a lot of support and help on the app Marco Polo from friends I reconnected with during the pandemic.
Start Using Your Planner Again
I didn’t crack mine open for weeks during all this. It felt very futile since I knew my VIPid schedule daily and had a quick list of library tasks. However, when I began using it again for planned trips to my department and the weekly goal setting tab, it helped me feel normal again. Even if it is just things you hope to do that day, write them down and see if this becomes self-fulfilling.
No reason your planner needs to be a wasted purchase!
Don’t Feel Guilty
I found that as I talked to friends and co-workers, is that we have all been experiencing this malaise and lack of motivation during the pandemic. So don’t beat yourself up about it all. Find a way to chip away at the boredom, sadness, or depression. Call a friend, take a walk, or even just brush your teeth. If I can do you it, I know you can too!
How are you finding motivation again?
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